09/17/2016, 09.39
THAILAND
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Catholic educators: Family and school, only hopes of Thai society

by Weena Kowitwanij

The Catholic Commission for Education (CCE) lays down the guidelines to be followed in the coming years. Msgr. Charatsri: "The cooperation between the school and the family is crucial, but unfortunately the latter is changing radically." The secretary general of CCE: "Catholic schools must not only communicate knowledge, but also to educate to a beautiful and peaceful coexistence."

Bangkok (AsiaNews) - The condition of today's family "is an issue of the greatest importance and has many consequences. The pastoral care of the family and of Catholic education are in fact two inseparable areas, considering that the family is the first school that educates the children”, is the reflection of  Msgr. Silvio Siripong Charatsri, chairman of the Catholic Commission for the Family.  He was speaking  during the seminar of the Catholic Commission for Education (CCE) that recently took place in Pattaya (south-east of Bangkok) on the theme: "Educating today and tomorrow : a passion that is renewed ".

The event was attended by 531 people including teachers, educators and CCE staff  from all over Thailand. At the conclusion of the event, some personalities who work in Catholic education reflected on the subjects discussed, stressing that to solve the problems facing Thai society there must be greater focus on the formation of Catholic youth.

Catholic identity, they say, must be centered on Jesus Christ, who alone can help humans discover the mercy of God. By applying this principle, Catholic institutions must educate children according to the precepts of the Gospel in accordance with the new national education Plan (NEP), which will last from 2017 to 2031. In an educational system among the worst in the world (with very high costs but poor results), the Church must make its contribution in the formation of intelligent and virtuous youth.

To do this, says Msgr. Charatsri, "Cooperation between the school and the family is important and necessary. Unfortunately, the establishment of the Thai family is changing dramatically, both in structure and in relationships. Large families of the past have given way to small groups of three people or, worse, with only one parent [...]. It is a tragedy that 50% of marriages end in divorce, and that the educational role of young people end up on the shoulders of school personnel ".

Fr. Francis Xavier Deja Arphonrat, CCE secretary general echoes this statement, stating: "Catholic schools must above all be a means of evangelization of the Good News. In fact, their role is not only to transfer knowledge, but also talk about the goodness, beauty and compassion. We must teach Catholics to live in peace with people of different faiths and languages, overcoming cultural barriers. "

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